Gombe’s energy sector has the potential to be a major driver of economic growth. This was highlighted by the 2019 discovery of hydrocarbons in the state, first announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which has led to greater exploration and the launch of new projects. Additionally, Gombe State’s natural resources make the region well suited to develop renewable energy sources.

Energy demand in the state is expected to increase sharply by 2030 – in line with a jump in population, which is forecast to expand by around 28%. As such, upgrades to the national grid are needed to meet the electricity needs of the population. The development of renewable energy projects and micro-grids across the state could, therefore, enhance electricity provision to rural communities and help ensure energy security.


While the oil-rich Niger Delta is well known for petrochemicals, the authorities have been exploring resources in other areas of the country. In 2019 the NNPC announced the discovery of crude oil, gas and condensates in the Kolmani area between Bauchi and Gombe states totalling an estimated 1bn barrels of oil reserves and 500bn cu feet of gas. Unlike other discoveries across the country, the Kolmani project is being developed by solely Nigerian organisations: the NNPC, local firm Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy Production Company and the New Nigeria Development Company, a conglomerate owned by 19 northern states.

The development of the Kolmani site is expected to progress over several phases, with phase one including an oil refinery, gas processing unit, 300-MW power plant and a fertiliser plant producing 2500 tonnes per day. Drilling in the field commenced in November 2022.


Several minerals can be found in Gombe State, including gypsum, limestone and coal. However, despite boasting a strong mining industry, the state’s coal reserves have been largely untapped. The state government announced in October 2020 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium – consisting of the China Railway 18th Bureau Group Company and international energy service provider TBEA – on the 600-MW Gombe coal-to-power project, though further updates on the project had yet to be announced as of early 2023.

Renewable Energy

The region has potential to develop renewable energy production. In its Gombe State Development Plan 2021-30, the local government set out ongoing sustainable energy projects including developments in hydroelectric, solar and wind power.

The Balanga Dam, with a capacity of 1000 KW, could provide the site for a hydroelectric power plant. The state government partnered with the UN Industrial Development Organisation in 2020 to assess the viability of the project, although updates were unavailable as of early 2023. More recently, in November 2022 the Federal Ministry of Water Resources opened bids for the rehabilitation of the Dadin Kowa dam – Nigeria’s second-largest dam – located near Gombe City. The dam is home to a 39-MW hydropower facility at present.

The state government expects to tap into Gombe’s wind and solar potential as it develops green solutions in line with the Nigerian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy. Accordingly, in 2018 the local government entered into an agreement with UK renewable energy developer Rencore Energy and local firm Esam Energy Solutions for the construction of wind farms.

In terms of solar energy, in February 2021 the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) commissioned an 85-KW-peak solar hybrid project expected to serve more than 500 homes in the Dakiti community, constructed by Nigerian firm Leading Diagonal Engineering. In September 2022 the Northern Governors’ Forum agreed to develop 2000 MW of solar power. Additionally, in 2022 the local government announced ongoing discussions between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources about the development of solar initiatives in Gombe State, including the utilisation of mini-grids to provide energy to small clusters of communities.